MSU to honor Heathcote with patch, tribute game

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News
Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote died at age 90 on Aug. 28.

East Lansing — Michigan State is continuing to finalize plans on how it will remember former basketball coach Jud Heathcote and on Wednesday announced plans for the basketball team to wear a patch this season as well has having tribute game.

Heathcote, who coached Michigan State to its first national championship in 1979, died at the age of 90 on Aug. 28.

The men’s basketball team will wear a patch honoring Heathcote throughout the 2017-18 season. The final design will be unveiled at a later date.

The school also announced the Michigan State-Purdue basketball game on Feb. 10 at the Breslin Center will be the Jud Heathcote Tribute Game. The date coincides with the annual former player reunion, allowing many of Heathcote’s former players to be in attendance.

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“Jud might be gone, but he will live on as a part of our basketball program and our university as we dedicate the upcoming season to his memory,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. “Every time we take the court, the patches on the uniforms will remind us of the man who set a great foundation for anything we accomplish now.

“I can’t wait for that Tribute Game against Purdue. I look forward to seeing so many of his former players paying their respect to a man to whom they owe so much. I know that weekend will involve amazing stories, laughter and tears. Jud had some great battles against the Boilermakers, and I’m hopeful that Gene Keady, one of his closest friends in the profession, will be able to join us for that game.”

Izzo plans to attend a memorial service for Heathcote in Spokane, Wash. The service is open to the public and takes place at 2 p.m. Pacific time on Sept. 23 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, located at 316 East 24th Avenue, Spokane, Wash.

Twitter: @mattcharboneau